How to Fix a Leaking Toilet: Step by Step Guide

You are in the right place if you need detailed instructions on how to fix a leaking toilet. It may seem awkward but a toilet indeed is the one and undoubtedly the most important place in your house.

So, one day you wake up in the morning with a great mood. As you make your way to the bathroom and go for the toilet, suddenly you find your feet touching unhygienic water. That is an absolute nightmare, right?

Do you know that every year hundreds of gallons of water get wasted by leaky toilets? Now think about how much it can affect your water bills.

A leaking toilet can give you a very tough time so it's a smart idea to learn some basic troubleshooting by yourself. It will also help you not to break the bank for sudden servicing.

There are a few methods you can follow to get your toilet running normally and make sure you’re only spending the water you need.

how to fix a Leaking Toilet

There is a myriad of reasons why the toilet can start leaking. Give this article a thorough read to understand how to fix a leaking toilet.

How to Fix a Leaking Toilet

A leaky toilet is a relatively common problem, and it’s more disturbing than dangerous.

A leaking toilet is never simple to deal with. If you know where the leak is, it becomes convenient to fix it. By using Leak Detector Tablets or food coloring you can test the toilet tank water for a leak quite easily. We recommend these leak detection dye tablets found on amazon: 

Toilet Leak Detection Dye Tablets (Detect Silent Leaks) 20 Pack

Learn how to know whether water is leaking into the bowl or onto the floor by following some simple steps. These steps will allow you to know where the problem is.

•Step 1: Turn off the water supply of the toilet

•Step 2: Make a dot with a marker to mark up the water level.

•Step 3: Add some color to the water and wait for 10-15 minutes.

Result 1: The color of the bowl has changed.

•If you find color in the bowl, the water tank may leak into the bowl. This can be caused by a faulty or damaged flush valve.

Result 2: The color from the tank leaked into the floor.

•If you notice the color on the floor, it means the gasket or tank is cracked and you need to replace them.

Result 3: The water level in the tank has gone up or down.

•If the water has increased, understand that there's a problem with the inlet or float valve. If the water has gone down, there might be a leak in your flush valve.

Once you know what the issue is then it's a straightforward procedure to fix your leaky toilet tank.

how to fix a Leaking Toilet


How do you fix a toilet that is leaking from the bottom?

Do you see a small water pool where the floor and your toilet meet? Is the area of the toilet's floor soft to the touch? Is the flooring rising?
If so, there is likely a leak between the drain line and the toilet horn, where waste normally emerges.

Over time, little leaks trapped beneath the toilet will destroy the floor's surface and even the framing beneath it. You may need to replace flooring, underlayments, subfloors, and perhaps even the structure, waiting too long might result in higher repair expenses. 

If you find that the toilet is not leaking from the bottom then continue the investigation. Here is a brief description of what to do when you have water leaking from the flapper, inlet valve, float valve, and flush valve. Let's have a look below:

The Flapper

Sometimes the water comes out or trickles through the bowl which is a leakage around the flapper. You can test it simply by turning off the water supply at the shutoff valve. If you notice that the water in the tank is dropping noticeably, understand that the problem might be in the flapper chain.

If the chain of the flapper is too tight, this type of water dropping can happen. All you have to do is adjust it slightly to settle back in its place.

Are you still hearing water leaking into the bowl? If that is the case, the second possible source is leakage around the flapper.

In this case, you have to replace the flapper. Replacing a flapper is not hard. The first step is to drain the tank and pull it loose. Adjust a matching flapper that suits the hinges of the overflow tube. Sometimes the rubber label needs to be repaired.

Here is the Amazon link for replacement flappers. Once you have removed the faulty flapper just match it to one found on Amazon.

The Inlet Valve

If you’ve already tried the above steps and it doesn't work, take a look inside the tank. If the water level rises above the overflow tube the problem might be with the inlet or float valve.

To know what the problem is you have to determine the technology behind the valve system. Know that the rising water instructs the inlet valve when to shut "Off" and "On". If this mechanism got interrupted somehow, it keeps spilling water through the overflow tube and into the bowl.

To examine the inlet valve, you have to flush the toilet and check whether the water flow is stopping or not while holding the floating rod.

If it doesn't stop, you have to adjust the float valve moving down slightly, ensuring it’s not touching or hampered by anything else.

You can also try to fix it by turning the screws on top of the valve. If you still face a problem, you have to replace it.

If the water stops flowing while holding the floating rod, the inlet valve is fine and the problem is with the float.

Float Valve

Now check whether the float valve is shutting off properly or not. Pull up the float to see if the water stops running. If it stops adjust the level of the float in the inlet valve.

You will find a screw at the top of the ballcock. It will allow you to adjust the level of the float. You can reduce or raise the level of the water in the tank with this adjustment.

After the adjustment, if you face the same problem, then check the float if it has any holes and lies too low in the water. The hole doesn't allow the float to raise enough to the inlet valve and caused the problem of dripping water.

In these cases, you have to fix your tank by replacing the float but don't have any stress. It's easy to replace and also inexpensive. Here is the Amazon link to replacement float valves just match it to the one you currently have.

Flush Valve and Seal

Sometimes the seal and the flush valve between the tank and bowl becomes old and cracked. So, you know what to do, replace it and solve the problem.

Final Words

A leaking toilet is always stressful as it is wasting water. Now you know how to fix a leaking toilet. So, if you notice your floor staying slippery and wet, it's time for you to get ready with some pliers, rib joint pliers, and a pot to grab the excess water. Toilet repair is not a complicated job and also doesn't require any expensive plumber tools.

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